Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 5th Mar 2011 11:46 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Legal Well, this rumour, coming from the reputable Wall Street Journal, isn't entirely unsurprising. Apparently, the omnipotent people familiar with the matter have told the WJS that the US Department of Justice and the California State Attorney General's office are investigating the MPEG-LA for possible anti-competitive practices regarding VP8.
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by cb_osn on Sat 5th Mar 2011 12:26 UTC
Member since:

"Antitrust enforcers are investigating whether MPEG LA, or its members, are trying to cripple an alternative format called VP8 that Google released last year - by creating legal uncertainty over whether users might violate patents by employing that technology," the sources told the WSJ.

The very existence of the patent system, especially with regard to software, is the direct cause of legal uncertainties. It seems a bit ironic that a government would open an antitrust investigation against a monopoly effectively granted by itself. At this point, isn't it time to admit that the system may be flawed?

Reply Score: 6

v If the web were to move to a format...
by mrhasbean on Sat 5th Mar 2011 13:08 in reply to "Uhm..."
Lennie Member since:

What if Google TV uses VP8 ? And (almost) all smartphones support VP8 ? And so on, I think it will set in a decline for the market share of codecs from MPEG-LA.

Google is already working hard on getting hardware out there which supports VP8 'in hardware'.

Just an example even some games from Microsoft use the Ogg-audio codec after all (no i don't remember which ones and they might have been commissioned).

And Microsoft and an MPEG-LA member (or whatever it is called).

Reply Parent Score: 2

somebody Member since:

sites like... youtube?

Reply Parent Score: 4

TheGZeus Member since:

I think you mis-clicked, dude.
Your comment has nothing to do with the above post.

Reply Parent Score: 2

andydread Member since:

"...for web video that doesn't require anyone to pay the MPEG-LA - they'll be missing income.

Figures anyone? What massive percentage of MPEG-LA's income is derived from web video content? Of course you can leave in there what they get from iTunes because there's no way known to man Apple will move to WebM. It's also arguable that any commercial content provider would make that switch due to the additional production requirements - but for argument sake lets say the others all do. If this is the one big reason why they're fighting it, how about some real verifiable figures to back up the claim.

Or is it just more FUD to add to the growing pile?

If Apple refuses then they will be marginalized thats all. They aren't the be all end all in the video distribution business. Microsoft refused also and so Google created plugins for the pertinent MS products. I'm sure they'll do the same for Apple products unless Apple uses their well known anticompetitive practices to block such innovation on their platform. I wouldn't put it past them to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

westlake Member since:

Figures anyone? What massive percentage of MPEG-LA's income is derived from web video content?
A good bet would be next to nothing.

MPEG LA has patent pools for:

1394 (Firewire)

H.264 licensing isn't all that complex:

Web video free to the viewer is royalty free.

Sales or rentals of short subjects - 12 minutes and under - are royalty-free.<p>

Royalties on features sold or rented by title are 2% of sales or 2 cents each, whichever is less.

Royalties on subscription sales are based on the number of subscribers. Sales to 100,000 subscribers or less are royalty free.

There are about 1,000 H.264 licensees and 30 H.264 licensors.

Most are fundamentally industrial and commercial.

They manufacture (or purchase) digital television systems (or components) for any of a dozen different markets.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:

Of course you can leave in there what they get from iTunes because there's no way known to man Apple will move to WebM

Yes indeed, why would a company always talking about the open web use an actually open and free codec? Perish the thought.

Reply Parent Score: 4